Jan 24, 2007

Verbal irony use computer-mediated conversations

A research published by the Journal of Language and Social Psychology show how peakers use a range of cues to signal ironic intent, including cues based on contrast with context, verbal, and paralinguistic cues.

Theyrely on cues provided by addressees regarding comprehension of irony. But when such cues are unavailable, you may think speakers use less irony because of the risk of miscommunication, and addressees may be more likely to misinterpret irony.

Eventhough, contrary to expectations, speakers in the computer condition used more irony than face-to-face speakers. They overvalue their capacity to communicate acurately their emotions by writing.

At the workplace, this overestimation is the begining for uncountable and unproductive discussions by e-mails.

Comprehension of irony did not appear to differ across settings, although addressees in the computer condition provided less feedback (positive or negative) to their partners about their comprehension.

These results are discussed in terms of possible differences in the discourse goals and relational strategies engendered by computer-mediated and face-to-face communicative settings. See the research...

Jan 14, 2007

How much US worker "interruptions" cost?

U.S. office workers get interrupted on the job as often as 11 times an hour, costing as much as $588 billion to U.S. business each year, according to research.

Adding the distracting lure of checking e-mails, surfing the Internet and chatting by computer, and workers interrupt themselves nearly as much as they are interrupted by others, experts say.

"With instant messaging on your desktop and alerts and e-mail notifications, you set yourself up for it," said John Putzier, founder of FirStep Inc. business strategists in Prospect, Pennsylvania.

The barrage of interruptions and distractions only worsens at this time of year, experts say.
 "We have more things pulling at us," said Jonathan Spira, chief executive of Basex, a business consulting firm that researched the cost of interruptions.

From online shopping at work to planning the office holiday party, workers are bombarded with distractions, he said.
"These holiday distractions result in more interruptions. It's certainly a recipe for even less work getting done, no question about it," he said.

A typical manager is interrupted six times an hour, one recent study showed, while another found the average cubicle worker is interrupted more than 70 times a day.

Other research has found office workers getting interrupted every 11 minutes, while another study said nearly half of workplace interruptions are self-imposed.

A study by Basex found office distractions take up 2.1 hours of the average day --28 percent-- with workers taking an average of five minutes to recover from each interruption and return to their original tasks.